Whether you’ve lived in your apartment for a few years or recently bought a new home, finding chic items to decorate your house can get really tedious (not to mention expensive). If you’re looking to give your space an interior lift without breaking the bank, house plants are a great alternative. Greenery will boost your mood and give your apartment an instant homey feel. But there are a few factors you need to consider before you go “plant crazy.” Here are four tips on how to pick the perfect house plant:
1. Determine the right amount of light
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Plants love light, but some need more than others. Before purchasing, determine the amount of light your desired area has: low, medium, or bright.
- Low-light areas are usually interior rooms
- Medium light usually comes from west or southeast windows
- Bright light comes from south windows and provides the most plant options
Plants like cacti and succulents need bright light whereas peperomias and fittonia require medium light and need to be situated a few feet away from windows. Use this chart to determine the right type of plant based on the lighting in your home.
2. Consider humidity
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Aside from lighting, you’ll want to be aware of how humid your home is. Certain plants thrive in dry climates, while others prefer more moisture. The average home humidity is 60 percent, so consider the origin of the plant to determine if it will thrive in your space. For example, tropical plants (like Chinese evergreen or dracaenas) love humid climates, but cacti-like plants can survive in drier climates (under 30 percent the relative humidity!).
- If the humidity in your home is too low, your plant might show signs like brown tips, yellow edges, and shriveled flowers.
- If the humidity in your home is too high, signs may include gray mold and rot.
Click here for more information on how the humidity level in your home can affect your plants.
3. Stick to the experts
The best way to find quality plants is to go through florists, local nurseries, and garden centers. If you can, try to stay away from department or hardware stores. These stores generally buy their plants in bulk, which means they aren’t as well-maintained as plants from nurseries.
No matter where you purchase from, always check for yellow leaves, spots, and weak stems. Also, make sure to look for signs of neglect (funky smells, extra-dried soil, and roots growing out of the bottom of the potted plant). If you’re looking to purchase the freshest plant possible, call your local shop and ask when they get new shipments in. This will allow you to take care of it right away.
4. Think about your schedule
Source: The Design Files
This may seem obvious, but if you want your plant to stay alive, you’ll need to be home to water it. Do you travel often? Or maybe you don’t want the inconvenience of remembering to water something every day.
- Plants that don’t need much attention include succulents, rubber plants, ZZ plants, or any type of philodendron
- High-maintenance plants like ctenanthes or elephant ears will need a little more TLC